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Developing a Return-To-Work Playbook: Water Quality Management

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Developing a Return-To-Work Playbook: Water Quality Management


In preparation for post-COVID office space reopening in mid-2020, an existing technology client contracted Antea Group to develop a Return-To-Work Playbook. The playbook covered both owned and leased spaces throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions. One component of the playbook specified evaluation of water management plan implementation at all the client’s office spaces prior to re-occupancy, to ensure good water quality within the office space.   

In late 2020, the client requested a comprehensive legionella testing program at three large multi-story buildings which served as the client’s US headquarters. Legionella was detected at varying concentrations within the water lines at all three buildings. 

In response to this discovery, the client requested that Antea Group evaluate water management plan implementation data provided by each facility’s landlord and/or building maintenance company to identify potential gaps in water quality and prioritize locations across all their US and Canada operations where legionella testing should be conducted. An Antea Group Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) evaluated the data and developed sampling strategies for each location. 

The desired outcome of this project was to verify if the remediation conducted by the client’s management team in response to the legionella findings was successful. This outcome was achieved by conducting a water assessment at the building with the analyte of concern being legionella. 


Antea Group mobilized a team of dedicated personnel to manage and implement water testing within both large multi-story office spaces and smaller office suites across 12 states, following a client-specific sampling protocol developed by an Antea Group CIH. Testing was often required at a fast turn-around based upon planned (and often moving) office reopening dates and required careful coordination with landlord representatives as well as client points of contact, to ensure access to the client (tenant) spaces as well as pertinent building features (e.g., water supply lines).  At each location, water was evaluated for legionella as well as indicators of disinfection adequacy. 


At each location where legionella was detected, Antea Group worked with the client to identify appropriate corrective actions based on industry guidance. For the larger owned office space, Antea Group coordinated with building facilities teams for remediation strategy implementation, then conducted post-remediation verification sampling to document effectiveness. 

The client’s proactive approach to building re-occupancy assured their employees that building water was safe after prolonged shutdowns. 

 Antea Group continues to assist the client in implementing a fit-for-purpose water management program across their operations to keep their facilities protected against future legionella outbreaks. 

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